We are half way through the work days here in Joplin! Temperatures have topped 100 degrees each day we have been here (and we have seen it as high as 110) – it makes tough work even tougher.
However, as a lot of veterans from last year’s New Orleans trip have commented, we’ve seen worse humidity; this heat doesn’t slap you in the face every time you walk outside.
Groups have been working primarily on hard manual labor in the heat. Some groups are shoveling dirt, others shoveling and transporting rock, with a few other groups working on painting or smaller construction jobs. A couple students were laughing at the difficulty clenching their fists after working with a sledge hammer most of yesterday afternoon.
But, as I type we are all eating breakfast, ready for another day in the heat and chance to work out sore muscles with more work.
Last night we has two special occasions: Maddie N. celebrated her 17th birthday (we even ate at a southern BBQ place with an all-you-can-eat ribs special – yum!) complete with cupcakes and ice-cream when we got home. We also had a chance to meet Diane and several of her kids. Diane is a resident of Joplin and shared her story and experience of the tornado.
It was amazing to chat with her and her kids – to hear a first hand account and ask questions. Her oldest daughter, who suffered a pretty big injury, put together a scrap book documenting their journey and with photos of her house, the destruction, and her own road to recovery.
And now it is time for another day of work. We are about to have devotionals while our food settles and then we’ll pick up hammers, shovels, wheel barrows, crow bars, and any other tools for another day.